Bahrain make impressive charge at Asian Games, KSA secure third medal

Bahrain once more made the most impressive charge up the table, adding two golds and a silver to their already impressive haul. (AFP)
Updated 27 August 2018
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Bahrain make impressive charge at Asian Games, KSA secure third medal

  • Saudi Arabia secured a third medal at the Asian Games on Monday,
  • Bahrain once more made the most impressive charge up the table, adding two golds and a silver to their already impressive haul

JAKARTA: Saudi Arabia secured a third medal at the Asian Games on Monday, but it was Bahrain once more who made the most impressive charge up the table, adding two golds and a silver to their already impressive haul.
Saudi karateka Raef Al-Turkistani had to settle for silver after being defeated 5-0 in the final of the Men’s Under-75kg final by Iran’s Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh. According to the official Twitter feed of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority, Al-Turkistani will be rewarded 300,000 riyals on arrival back home for his exploits at the JCC Plenary Hall.
Inside the nearby Gelora Bung Karno stadium, Bahraini runner Oluwakemi Adekoya secured gold in the Women’s 400-meter Hurdles with a time of 54.48 seconds. The time broke the Asian Games record of 54.87 seconds, which itself had only been achieved the previous evening. Adeyoka’s compatriot, Aminat Jamal, clocked 55.65s to finish narrowly behind Thi Lan Quach of Vietnam and claim bronze. Shortly after, Yavi Winfred won Bahrain its second gold of the day when she completed the Women’s 3,000m Steeplechase in nine minutes 36 seconds.
Around 60km south of Jakarta, at the Pakansari Stadium, the UAE football team qualified for the semifinals of the Men’s Football after overcoming North Korea 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in regular time. Syria, however, also pushed to extra time in their quarter-final with Vietnam, eventually conceded and were eliminated to miss out on a place in the last four. The war-torn nation did though finish the day with their first medal, courtesy of Majd Eddin Ghzal, who took bronze in the Men’s High Jump.
Jordan also secured a bronze — their eighth of the Games — when Bashar Al-Najjar won his medal match against Saadi Ghulam Abbas of Pakistan in the Men’s Karate Under-75kg. Al-Najjar had lost to Saudi’s Al-Turkistani earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, the Kuwait National Olympic Committee, who had taken its first two medals — both gold — since having its ban overturned on Sunday, continued to enjoy success, adding a further silver on Monday. Ahmad Al-Mesfer lost to Japan’s Ryutaro Araga in the final of the Men’s Under-84kg category. And Qatar’s Ashraf Elseify bagged gold in the Men’s Hammer Throw competition before Yasser Bagharab added a silver in the Men’s 3000m Steeplechase.


Luka Modric wins world player of year, ends Ronaldo-Messi duology

Updated 57 min 25 sec ago
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Luka Modric wins world player of year, ends Ronaldo-Messi duology

  • Egyptian legend Mohamed Salah wins fan-voted Puskas Award for scoring the best goal of the year
  • Saudi Arabian legend Sami Al-Jaber presents award for Best Fans to Peruvian contingent

LONDON: Croatia’s Luka Modric was crowned Men's Player of the Year at FIFA’s The Best Awards, but insisted beaten finalist Mohamed Salah should be proud of his record-breaking season, assuring the Egyptian he will have other opportunities to win the sport’s premier individual award. 

Modric, who won the Champions League for a third successive year with Real Madrid and led his country to the World Cup final in Russia this summer, beat both Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo to the award. The 33-year-old is the the first player outside of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the prize since 2008. Neither of the two former winners attended the otherwise star-studded event at Royal Festival Hall.
 
“It’s a great honor and beautiful feeling to stand here with this amazing trophy,” Modric said, after being presented the award by FIFA president Gianni Infantino. “I want to give congratulations to Mohamed and Cristiano for the great seasons they had.”

Looking at Salah, Modric added: “I am sure in the future you will have another opportunity to fight for this trophy.”

The 26-year-old Egyptian did take to the stage to collect a prize when, earlier in the evening, he picked up the fan-voted Puskas Award for scoring the best goal of the year. The Liverpool forward’s strike against city rivals Everton last December in the Premier League was deemed more worthy than Ronaldo’s bicycle kick in the Champions League and Gareth Bale’s emulation in the competition’s final a few weeks later. 

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah is presented with the FIFA Puskas award by Noel Gallagher and Didier Drogba. (Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley)

“I’ve nothing much to say about this,” Salah responded after accepting his award from fellow African Didier Drogba and English musician Noel Gallagher. “I’m very happy and proud… and looking forward to another award later tonight.”

He, however, had to wait to learn he would be not be returning to the stage as host Idris Elba and a host of special guests presented a wide range of other awards. 

Didier Deschamps was awarded Best Coach having led France to World Cup glory, beating out competition from Zinedine Zidane and Zlatko Dalic. Zidane resigned from Real Madrid earlier this year after winning three successive Champions League titles and embraced his former France teammate amicably. Dalic, who spent seven years in the Gulf with Saudi clubs Al-Faisaly and Al-Hilal before enjoying great success with Al-Ain in the UAE, inherited a Croatia side on the edge of failing to qualify for the World Cup and took them to the final within 12 months. 

Reynald Pedros won Best Women’s Coach for his work with Lyon, having led them to a memorable league, cup and Women’s Champions League treble, while Brazil's Marta was crowned Best Women's Player for a record sixth time for her role in winning the Copa America, fending off Lyon duo Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsan.

Real Madrid new boy Thibault Courtois was handed Best Goalkeeper for his performances for Chelsea last year, although was curiously beaten by Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea to a place in the Fifa All-Star Team. Salah was also surprisingly snubbed for the FIFA All-Star Team, with Ronaldo being joined in a forward line alongside Messi, PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. Modric slotted in behind alongside N’golo Kante, who was positioned to protect a defense of Marcelo, Dani Alves, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos.

“I am very happy and proud to be named as one of the best 11 players in the world again,” Varane told reporters afterwards. The French defender was the only player to win both the World Cup and the Champions League this past year.

Salah, who disappeared after the ceremony without speaking to any media, had said before the awards were announced that he was not pinning his hopes on victory, instead looking forward to the future.  

“I'm happy to be here, but I’m sure it’s not the last time,” he said. “My goal is just to be better than last season, but I’m not worrying about that. We’ll just see what happens. [Qualifying for the World Cup was] the best moment in my life so far; a big thing for us as a nation. It would mean a lot to win; it’s a dream come true, but I have a long time still to play football.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian legend Sami Al-Jaber presented the award for Best Fans to a small contingent of Peruvians who represented the more than 40,000 compatriots who attended this summer’s World Cup in Russia, their country’s first appearance in 36 years. 

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AWARD RESULTS


Puskas Award: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Best Goalkeeper: Thibault Courtois (Real Madrid)
Best Coach: Didier Deschamps (France)
Best Women’s Coach: Reynald Pedros (Lyon)
Best Fans: Peru Fans
Fair Play Award: Lennart Thy (VVV Venlo)
World XI: De Gea; Alves, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kante; Hazard, Messi, Mbappe; Ronaldo 
Women’s Player of the Year: Marta (Orlando Pride)
Men’s Player of the Year: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)